So You’re Going to Draft Bradley Beal


Baseline 2012 Draft + Roster Breakdown – Part II

Last week we built out the Charlotte Bobcats ’12-’13 roster post-Thomas Robinson, this time we’ll take a look at what Rich Cho, Rod Higgins and new head coach Mike Dunlap will need to do if they go a different route.

The Scoreboard Decides the Game

Dunlap insists the Cats will be more aggressive on offense, converting easy baskets while doing their best to minimize those same shots on defense. That’s wonderful news and I’m certain that eventually the hustle plays will cut down the team’s dreadful -13.9 point differential and maybe even swing a few close games their way. In the meantime, the Cats can buy themselves a little breathing room by employing players who can increase the team’s offensive output the old fashioned way: Scoring the Damn Ball.

Bradley Beal has been compared to Eric Gordon, Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade: not only good company but rare company. There just aren’t many big-time scorers in the game. Beal instantly becomes Charlotte’s number one offensive option and most feared shooter. Concern over his 6’4″ height or with how Beal affects Gerald Henderson’s role with the team are mitigated by Beal’s ability to play both guard positions. The team’s guard rotation of Augustin, Henderson, Walker and Beal becomes one of the league’s best young backcourts.

RESULT: Charlotte selects Bradley Beal, SG Florida

Looking Forward

With the backcourt set, Charlotte will need to address depth at both the 3 and the 4 spots.

SF: Drafting Beal gives Dunlap the option to go small with Henderson playing on the far wing. He’ll need to get comfortable there because incumbant and veteran placeholder Corey Maggette is a near lock to miss a dozen or so games due to injury. Derrick Brown is a replacement level backup as well as a free agent and may not be invited back.

PF: This is why everyone’s reading Thomas Robinson as the pick. Once you pencil in Bismack Biyombo as a full-time center, the Cats collection of power forwards looks downright ugly. D.J. White is a fine backup with a nice 18 foot jumper but doesn’t defend all that well and has no post game. Tyrus Thomas? Who knows what you’re gonna get with the guy. He could end up averaging a double-double or be out of the league entirely by season’s end – how often can you say that about a six year veteran?

Again, I’m optimistic the team will get a call from Antawn Jamison’s agent come July and he’d certainly bring a much needed dose of professionalism and experience to a young team. I’m also convinced that Cho will try and trade up from the 31st pick to nab another frontcourt prospect, especially if they go Beal early. Jared Sullinger, Quincy Miller or Moe Harkless might be worth the move up.

RESULT: Charlotte signs PF Antawn Jamison to a two year $8m deal, drafts PF Quincy Miller in the late first round, extends QO to D.J. White, D.J. Augustin.

Staying Competitive

Make the moves above and you enter camp with:

  • PG: Augustin/Walker
  • SG: Henderson/Beal/Williams/Carroll
  • SF: Maggette/Miller
  • PF: Jamison/Thomas/White
  • C: Biyombo/Mullens/Diop

World Beaters? No, but a much more competitive lineup than last season especially given the boost in fire power. These Bobcats push to win 30 games, enter next year’s offseason with two 1st rounders, upwards of $30 million in cap space and lots of teal and purple (but that’s another story for another day).


NEXT UP: So You’re Going to Draft Harrison Barnes

POLL : What Should They Do with Pick #2?

  • Select Thomas Robinson (39%, 75 Votes)
  • Select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Select Bradley Beal (15%, 28 Votes)
  • Select Andre Drummond (9%, 17 Votes)
  • Trade The Pick (29%, 55 Votes)

Total Voters: 190

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So You’re Going to Draft Thomas Robinson


David Phillips/AP

Baseline 2012 Draft + Roster Breakdown – Part I

Post-Lottery I broke down the three serious contenders for the Cats’ second overall pick. Last week, DrE prescribed some trade options should the team choose to go another route. Today we’ll begin filling out the team’s roster based on who they end up walking away with on the 28th. First up…


Not only is Thomas Robinson the safest pick at two but by selecting him the Bobcats can follow a fairly straight-forward path building out the rest of the roster come July. At 6’9″/244, Robinson instantly becomes the team’s muscle down low; he’ll likely lead the team in rebounds his rookie season and challenge for highest PER. If the Cats do select T-Rob, expect a stream of happy tweets from Bismack Biyombo, who’ll be surprised to find a competent frontcourt brawler crashing the boards next to him in the paint.

Long term, the combo of Biyombo and Robinson form a high(ish)-ceiling big man duo to build the team around. Add in a change of pace stretch five (Byron Mullens), a (hopefully) refocused Tyrus Thomas* and the Cats frontcourt suddenly becomes a strength.

RESULT: Bobcats select PF Thomas Robinson, Kansas


With the frontcourt out of the way, the team must address its #1 area of weakness: SCORING. Robinson will help a little but what the Cats desperately need is a legit 20-30 point threat capable of drawing a double-team or cracking a pick ‘n roll — y’know, those components which make up 90% of NBA offenses.

GOOD NEWS: Big-time scoring wings are available this offseason. Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay can all be had given the right trade.
BAD NEWS: Even if the Cats wanted to take on a big-salaried veteran, the team might not have the ammo required to make a deal happen.
Oh, and don’t look for any firepower in free agency, it’s simply not the year for it (#2013).

How desperate are the Bobcats for scoring? Without any legitmate offensive threat on the roster, the team can’t even properly evaluate its current point guards. DJ Augustin is technically a free agent. But what’s he worth? Put him on the Lakers and he’s a legit starter/rotation player, nailing open threes playing off Kobe & Co. On the Bobcats? Another mediocre player on a mediocre team. How can Kemba Walker learn the position when he’s the best option for the team’s offense every time down the floor? The new coaching staff will help but the team MUST acquire scoring talent soon or risk roster-wide development atrophy.**

The most likely scenario is that the team signs some low-risk/low-cost veteran help in the form of Antawn Jamison or Grant Hill to shepherd the kids until Shabazz Mohammed*** or James Harden come along.

RESULT: Bobcats extend/sign D.J. Augustin to the $4.4m qualifying offer, sign Antawn Jamison to two-year $8m partially guaranteed deal.


Drafting Robinson, signing Augustin and Jamison brings the roster to:

PG: Augustin/Walker
SG: Henderson/Williams/Carroll
SF: Maggette/Jamison
PF: Robinson/Thomas/White
C: Biyombo/Mullens/Diop

Factor in the team’s high second-round pick (a potential rotation player) and the roster maxes out at fourteen with a cap number around $55m — right around the league mandated minimum.

Will this roster be decent? Probably not. Will they be as bad as last year? Nope. The coaching change alone should be good for a handful of victories. Robinson’s ability to finish in the paint and rebound will be a godsend while Jamison’s scoring punch from the bench should prevent some of those mid/late quarter collapses.

Will the fanbase stick around after another grueling season? Total speculation on my part but I think the organization has an ace in the hole to restore local interest once the demolition is complete. One Hint: BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

RESULT: Charlotte team looks better, finishes strong, wins 27 games, enters July of 2013 with a handful of good young players, two first round picks, a ton of cap space and lots of teal & purple.


*And, no, I refuse to believe that the Bobcats will amnesty Tyrus simply because: a.) The team is broke and b.) No one outside of Billy King would offer T-Time guaranteed money to offset the costs. Also, “T-Time” is the second laziest nickname in the league, right after “T-Rob” and just behind “Hendo”.

**Lack of scoring both on the team and around the league is why I’m strongly in favor of Charlotte taking Bradley Beal with the pick — but that is another post for another day…

***Is Shabazz Mohammed the next great NBA prospect or the leader of the Black Panther movement? Name always confuses me.

NEXT UP: So You’re Going to Draft Andre Drummond

POLL : What Should They Do with Pick #2?

  • Select Thomas Robinson (39%, 75 Votes)
  • Select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Select Bradley Beal (15%, 28 Votes)
  • Select Andre Drummond (9%, 17 Votes)
  • Trade The Pick (29%, 55 Votes)

Total Voters: 190

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Bobcats Score Decisive Win Over Cavs (Witness This!)


Charlotte Bobcats vs Cavaliers 2/20/10

Thomas, Ratliff Impressive in Debuts

The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-93 before a sellout crowd at the Cable Box on Friday evening.  AP recap here, box score here.  After losing their initial matchup in the opening days of the season, the Cats have since defeated the Eastern Conference leading Cavaliers three straight times.

The game was tied 50-50 at the half, but the Cats pulled away midway through the third and kept a double digit lead through the fourth quarter.  It was over when a Boris Diaw steal led to a Gerald Wallace fast break dunk to put the Cats up by 17 with just under three minutes left.

The lead storyline in this one has to be the relative performances of each team’s newcomers.  The day before the trading deadline, the Cavs traded for Antawn Jamison in a move that has been lauded around the league.  However, Jamison looked rusty and tentative in his debut for the Cavs, and probably cost them the game.  Jamison seemed passive, yet finished with the second highest FGA for the game with 12.  Furthering the problem, he didn’t hit any of them — yep, 0-12 FG.  Jamison had several shots blocked and had two airballs from three-point range.

Meanwhile, Bobcats newcomers Theo Ratliff and Tyrus Thomas probably couldn’t have asked for better debuts.  With Tyson Chandler (foot/ankle) and Gana Diop (knee) sidelined, Ratliff was pressed into early duty to back up Nazr Mohammed.  He entered the game with about 5 minutes left in the first quarter and within 90 seconds had recorded his first block for the Bobcats (on the aforementioned Jamison).  Ratliff went on to log 18 minutes in the game, mostly spent valiantly guarding Shaq and gathering rebounds.  Ratliff ended with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks, no FGA or FTA.  Perfect line for the guy.

Tyrus Thomas entered the game for Ratliff a little later in the first quarter and quickly went about filling up the stat sheet.  He recorded his first block less than fifteen seconds after checking in, and went on to block 5 more.  By the fourth quarter, Thomas’ mere presence in the lane was affecting the Cavs’ decisions in the lane.  Thomas also swallowed up tons of boards, eventually totaling 12 in his 25 minutes of playing time.

If Larry Brown can work the same magic for Tyrus that he’s worked for Gerald Wallace, then we’ll be in great shape.  On second thought, “magic” is a poor choice of words there.  There’s nothing magic about what’s happened to Gerald’s game, or what needs to happen to Ty’s game — it’s just simple maturation, getting smarter about the game, picking your spots, slowing down a bit while maintaining necessary aggression, minimizing your weaknesses and highlighting your strengths.

Beneath his morose surface, you know Larry Brown is quietly pumped about the prospect of teaching Tyrus all that he’s never been taught about basketball.  I imagine the dynamic kind of like Stellan Skarsgaard and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting; only I hope this doesn’t end with Tyrus lighting Larry Brown’s playbook on fire, then going to cry in Phil Jackson’s embrace while the Zen Master repeats “It’s not your fault.”


A secondary storyline has to be what in the world the Bobcats are doing to Lebron James.  Lebron had a quiet 22 point, 9 assist game; he has averaged 22.5 points in the four games against the Cats this year, well below his 30 ppg average.

The Cats don’t seem to be doing anything too fancy to Lebron.  It helps that Gerald Wallace is the primary individual defender, of course, and that Stephen Jackson, Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw are the guys that most frequently get switched onto him — all of those guys can at least hold their own.  But the key is more in the team defense that the Cats play — the traps in the backcourt, the aggressive help defense, the good rotations out to the jump shooters.

Odds And Ends

  • It’s unfortunate I’ve gotten this far without mentioning the guy who put the ball in the hole all night for the Cats; Stephen Jackson led the offensive charge with 29 points (9-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 8-10 FT) while also adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • Boris and DJ both had their best games in some time, looking confident and decisive.
  • The only downside I can see to Ty Thomas being a big part of the Bobcats down the stretch (other than the general combustibility and questionable basketball IQ, or course) is that Gerald’s rebounding numbers are probably going to drop.  Not that they were going to rise back to a league-leading level without him around, but still…
  • Tyson Chandler, we hardly knew ye…
  • Does anyone else think Shaq might be pushing 350 lbs?  And those awful Chinese shoes he’s wearing look like locomotives.
  • I hadn’t realized this until looking at the standings after the game, but due to their recent stumble, the Cats have fallen down to 8th place in the East.  Which means that if the season ended today, we’d face these Cavs in the first round.  Interesting matchup, huh?
  • Not only were the Cats on point all night, but so was the Cable Box’s WiFi.  Got lots of Tweets in — follow me!
  • Quick turnaround, as the Cats have a back-to-back Saturday night in Milwaukee, 8:30 PM ET start.  This one’s important, as the Bucks are the primary threat to jump into the playoff picture in the East.  Currently, they’re only half a game behind the Cats in the standings.  Furthermore, the Cats are 1-1 against the Bucks so far this year, with Saturday’s meeting and a late season tilt still to go.  A victory tomorrow night guarantees we wouldn’t lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with them if it came down to that at the end of the year.

-Dr. E

Injured Felton Hits Clutch Shot To Beat Wizards



Raymond Felton – Swishes A Contract Year Shot

Charlotte slips by the Wizards 94-92 to return to .500 on the season.  AP Recap | Box Score

Despite injuring his ankle a day earlier in practice Raymond Felton was determined to play Tuesday night. The Washintgon Wizards probably wish he’d stayed on the sidelines in a suit. With just seconds left on the clock and the teams tied at 92-92, Felton handled the ball, drove left and stepped-back for a  jumper contested by Wizards guard Randy Foye. With the release of his shot, Raymond made sweet love to pressure – in front of the 7,000 or so fans at the arena, Michael Jordan, Alexis Ajinca, Stephen Jackson, and the rest of his teammates. The shot had put the Bobcats up 94-92, giving Felton’s agent a video clip to play on repeated loop while negotiating his deal with Charlotte this coming off-season. Washington was left with 1.9 seconds and a failed scoop shot attempt from Antawn Jamison before the buzzer sounded, their loss was official, and Rufus celebrated on the court for the last home game before the All-Star break.

Considering their recent woes, it was surprising that the Wizards showed some fight in this game. Both teams took turns making runs and neither club looked to control the game for more than a minute at any point in the contest. Washington’s big men are surprisingly good.  Jamison (16pts), Haywood (12pts), and Blatche (15pts) can all hit from the inside and work their way in the paint. Those skills proved to be a bit of a problem for Nazr Mohammed and Boris Diaw early in the game. Over the last couple of weeks, most Cats fans have become exhausted by watching Diaw pass up good shot attempts to find his teammates for lesser opportunities.  This game showed the kind of performance Diaw should aim for on a consistent basis.  Boris was able to knock down outside shots to help spread the floor for Charlotte, and he made smart moves without the ball for easy buckets around the rim. It should be noted that he even threw down a two-handed jam at one point!

Tyson Returns

Going into the game, the Bobcats made the decision to activate Tyson Chandler after the foot injury that had shelved him since late December.  While Tyson wasn’t the difference maker in this one, he showed that he can contribute to the squad. Some of his mistakes were more mental than physical, improperly switching on the Wizards high pick-and-roll to leave DJ or Flip guarding a big man in the paint. With the addition of Stephen Jackson, this team has found a better flow on offense and Chandler may have an easier time of finding his place in their pecking order as he returns to action at this stage of the season. During the second quarter, it was nice to see DJ work to find looks for Chandler. One one possession, Augustin slid past two defenders into the paint and had an open look at the rim. He chose to lob a pass for a Tyson throw-down rather his own score.  The crowd definitely appreciated those two points a bit more than a DJ layup.

Raymond Felton surely gets the player of the game for his toughness to suit up and hitting a mega-clutch shot to close the game.  Gerald has become so steady that his 17pts / 13 rbs seemed expected. He never took over the game, but he did pose a threat throughout each quarter. The Bobcats had 5 players in double digit scoring, led by Stephen Jackson’s 22pts. Ronald “Flip” Murray put in a strong offensive performance (16pts), and once more proved how much the team needed points from their bench.

Final Notes

Check out the blocky cartoon version of Crash on the Fan Face Off online video game! Also, there’s a new Gerald Wallace video about the Dunk Contest on

About the game – the Washington Wizards seem to hate each other. Maybe the team has rid themselves of the rumored divisiveness caused by Gilbert Arenas, but the guys don’t seem to enjoy each other one bit.  Like a married couple that everyone knows should be divorced, they had some great times a couple of years ago. They had some laughs in the past, but these days everyone can see that they despise each other.  Each party involved would be happier going their separate ways. Caron Butler, who took over the game during the fourth, doesn’t even stand near his teammates during the breaks in the game. Only a few players even got in the huddle to listen to Coach Flip Saunders (no relation to Flip Murray).  The Wizards need to bust this up and build upon the big men they have in place. Trade rumors have swirled around Jamison and Butler. From an outside perspective, it looks like this is the best time for those guys to leave.

Speaking of trade rumors – ESPN and The Charlotte Observer have posted speculation of trade talks with Boston on their web sites. Supposedly, there is some type of DJ Augustin for Glen Davis deal in discussion.  Additionally, the Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that the Cats might be more inclined to deal with NY (Jordan Hill) or Chicago (Tyrus Thomas).

Let us know what you think about these possible trades.


An AK-47, A Burly Frenchmen & A Providence Panther


Three Impact Trades for Power Forward Depth

Power Forward Depth

We’ve been talking about it since Training Camp and Larry Brown has been crying for it (via Rick Bonnell) for months: Rod Higgidy-Higgins needs to make a trade ASAP to bring in another Power Forward.

The Bobcats are playing the best ball in franchise history.  If they want to continue their push towards the top of the Eastern Conference, they’ll need another PF.  Here’s why:

  1. Even though Boris Diaw is regaining his ’08-’09 form, he’ll never be a rebounding force.  As much as we’d all like to see Gerald Wallace to win the rebounding title, logic dictates that he split ball-boards with another banger and save the wear and tear on his body for the Playoffs.
  2. Right now Wallace, Stephen Jackson and second rounder Derrick Brown are the backups.  You don’t want your two best players getting beaten up down low against bigger players.  The rookie Brown is giving up 20-30 pounds and a ton of experience on a nightly basis.
  3. Roster Imbalance.  The team features four point guards and five wing players.  Playoff teams need to be able to go big.

That brings me to the trades.  First off, let me establish the RULES:

  • No virtual trades with Eastern Conference Playoff contenders.  Let’s be realistic, why would a division rival and potential first round opponent like Orlando trade the Bobcats Brandon Bass for cap relief or a young player?  Makes no sense.
  • Virtual trades can only be made within the conference IF the other team is absolutely horrible with no chance at the Playoffs and wants to clean house or dump salary.
  • The Trade HAS TO MAKE SENSE FOR THE OTHER TEAM.  This automatically excludes 99.9% of the trades that you’ve seen posted on Bobcats forums and comment threads.
  • Don’t Mess with Chemistry: The Bobcats are playing great together right now, so you don’t want to trade away any player who is integral to this run.

Without further ado…

TRADE #1: Bobcats send Tyson Chandler and a Protected First Round Selection to Washington for Antawn Jamison.

Washington ditches the last year of Jamison’s deal ($15 million in ’11-’12) and can move Tyson’s expiring as soon as this summer AND they get a late first rounder for their troubles.

For one, the Charlotte Observer can kill two birds with one stone by writing updates on Jamison AND THE BOBCATS at the same time (we can only hope that the team can trade for Stephen Curry during the offseason as well).
Also Jamison could step in and either be the team’s electric frontcourt scorer off the bench OR start the game with an unselfish Diaw joining the lineup at Center as the sixth man.  Although Antawn isn’t known as an elite defender, he’s an above-average rebounder at around 9 per game over the past four seasons.
Finally, bringing Jamison home to Charlotte would likely do wonders at the turnstiles as the former Tar Heel/Providence Panther could combine his local celebrity with the promise of a suddenly formidable Charlotte NBA team.

TRADE #2: Bobcats send Gerald Henderson and Stephen Graham to Golden State for Ronny Turiaf.

Ronny isn’t getting much PT in Oaktown these days as Don Nelson seems hell-bent on playing a five guard lineup.  The Warriors get another super-athletic two-guard with lots of potential and shave cap-space to boot.

Larry Brown has fallen in love with the French.  He praised their national team this summer, drafted one of their youngsters in ’08 and traded for another last winter.  Turiaf would be a great complement to Diaw in Charlotte where he could spend 15-20 minutes (and six fouls) per game roughing up the opposing team’s low post players, blocking shots and taking up space in the lane.
Only two negatives with Turiaf:
1. (Mild Concern) Had open heart surgery in 2005 following the draft to repair an aortic artery.
2. (Moderate Concern) Once played at Gonzaga with Adam Morrison.

TRADE #3: Bobcats send Tyson Chandler, Acie Law and Gerald Henderson to the Utah Jazz for Andrei Kirilenko and a Protected First Round Selection.

The Jazz need to get out from under the luxury tax and Law (expiring), Henderson (rookie deal) and Chandler (two more years at a lower number) are infinitely more moveable than Kirilenko’s $16 million salary.

Seriously, do you have to even ask?  Kirilenko is signed to MAX contract that may seem ludicrous now but in 2005 (PRE-CARLOS BOOZER), the big Russian was worth every penny.  Back then when AK-47 was playing his natural PF position, Andrei averaged 15ppg, 8rpg, 4apg AND 3.3bpg.  Once Boozer came to town and the Jazz decided to play Kirilenko out of position on the wing, things went south and Andrei never regained his previous form.  Putting a still young (28) Kirilenko on the same line with Gerald Wallace might destroy the League record (if there even is one) for Most ReDonkulous Weakside Help In Your Face Blocks in a season.  Add to this fact that Kirilenko has shown that he has no problem coming off of the bench and you have the makings of a perfect small-ball, ball-hawking, transition team set with Boris at Center, Andrei at PF and Crash at the the Three.